If you see a fallen power line, call 911 - and stay a bus-length away

Rebecca Alexander used her smartphone to take a quick shot of downed power lines on Quarry Road in Chilliwack after a major wind storm hammered the Fraser Valley community on November 17th.

Not everyone in B.C. is aware of power line dangers

Learn how to be safe around power lines, and spread the word to your family, friends and neighbours. It could prevent a serious injury, or even death.

While it fortunately doesn't happen often, it's important to be aware of basic safety rules around fallen power lines.

Always assume that a fallen power line is live and extremely dangerous. And if you see a fallen power line:

  1. Stay at least 10 metres away – that's at least a bus length away.
  2. Call 911 to report the exact location of the fallen power line, and insist that everyone else at the scene stays at least 10 metres back.

See our visual guide to staying safe around fallen power lines

If you're in a vehicle that hits a power pole, drive out from the power line if you can

As winter arrives and driving conditions get more challenging, we experience an increase in the number of incidents involving motor vehicles and power lines. If you're involved in a vehicle crash into a power pole, here are the best ways to stay safe:

  • If you can safely drive out from under the power line or source of electricity, do so. Travel at least the length of a bus – about 10 metres (33 feet) – before stopping.
  • If you can't drive away because you're injured, the vehicle is inoperable or there are obstacles in the way, stay put and wait for emergency help.
  • If there's a fire or another reason you feel you must leave the vehicle, don't touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time with any part of your body or clothing. Follow the steps in our visual guide to motor vehicle accidents and power lines, including jumping from the vehicle with your feet together and touching, then shuffling – again, feet always touching (but in a shuffle, not a hop) – at least 10 metres away from the fallen power line.

Survivors of electrical accidents share their stories

It was supposed to be a fun night out with friends, Eric Phillips explains each time that he tells the story of the electrical accident that changed his life. It turned out to be anything but that. See the video of his story.

Kris Biggs was excited to start his career as an electrical apprentice. It was a normal morning when he headed to work in 2009 and was asked to dust an electrical cabinet, to prevent the possibility of "arc" flashes of electricity.  He knew how to do the work, but because of some miscommunication, equipment that he thought wasn't energized yet was actually live with electricity. See the video of his story.

Related links: